Determining the answer, considering real world possibilities
No, I'm not asking the same question again for the millionth time. I'm asking whether a red dot sight or steel sights are better for you.
Since this is a subject of endless controversy, I'll just tell you what I use, why, and under what circumstances. Then if you have any questions or want to tell me your preference(s), use the Contact Form.
I was born with steel sight guns in my hand (or so it seems). I still use steel sight guns, such as my 3rd generation GLOCK 23, and my S&W Shield .45 ACP.
I use those two with steel sights for day to day personal self defense, in the usual places I go, where if something were to break out, I'd have people generally close to me.
That means clear visuals on people all around me. If a shooter started somewhere near me under those conditions, distinguishing between him and other bystanders would not be difficult.
What that amounts to is clear target separation, making the use of steel sights on those guns adequate, even with my somewhat aged eyesight.
These targets, up close, represent day to day likely self defense scenarios, with clear target separation.
Under those conditions, I'd be able to get on target quickly, and clearly with the standard sights on the gun.
For me, where the red dot sight becomes critical, is in large, heavily crowded locations. In those type locations, an active shooter entering a good distance from me, intitiating panic, would likely make target separation much more challenging in the mix of people frantically running in every direction.
Imagine being in that type venue with dozens of people running different directions, spotting friends or family, and through the crowd seeing fleeting glimpses of the shooter.
It's for those type situations I practice with, and carry a long barrel 9mm with a red dot sight.
These targets represent longer, more difficult target separation and acquisition.
That rig gives me a much quicker target acquisition at distance, with only one focal point in the dot.
I can bring the gun up, concentrate on the target, while still seeing the dot in place.
That allows me to make much more precise, controlled shots at distance, giving me a much better chance of hitting the shooter, even through a dense crowd.
This would be only in the case of the shooter killing and maiming people, and absolutely having to stop him.
The red dot would be the choice in that scenario. So, in those type locations, that's what I carry.
So, both steel sights and red dots have their place with me. Not one or the other overall.
Steel sights for everyday self defense, red dots for large crowded areas.
While it's important to be able to make our guns work for whatever comes down, we can generally make a determination about where we're going, and likely scenarios in those locations.
And that's what makes the choice between steel sights and red dot sights for me.
Here's to your good shooting ~Mark Rogers
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